Serie A Team Of The Week: Round 26: Genoa Duo Paloschi & Palacio Inspire Roma's Downfall

Goal.com looks at the best performing players from the 26th round of the Serie A calendar.
Despite no real marquee clashes in Serie A this past weekend between any of the big guns, there was plenty of excitement across the board.

Goal.com took stock of all the important fixtures, which saw Genoa go from 3-0 down to winning 4-3 against Roma with two clear offensive stars in the second half, a moment of magic give league leaders Milan a mich-needed victory to alleviate the pressure, and a resurgent Inter narrowly edge Cagliari with a goal from an unlikely source.

Over the weekend, high-flying Napoli and Lazio also kept alive their ambitions with crucial wins, while relegation-threatened Lecce pulled off a shock victory over Juventus, ending the Bianconeri's miniature spell of positive form in the early Sunday match.

Who were the stars of the show in Round 26 of Serie A? Goal.com chose a 4-3-3 formation to best suit the players who made a significant difference at the weekend.


Formation: 4-3-3


Goalkeeper - Jean Francois Gillet (Bari)

TOTW Apps
: 2

Bari may not be able to avoid the drop down to Serie B, but the Belgian shot stopper certainly has not given up yet. There was nothing he could do on the goal, but he stopped his side from conceding several more with expert stops on Hernanes, Sculli and Kozak at the Stadio Olimpico in a 1-0 loss.


Right back - Fabiano Santacroce (Napoli)

Player Rating: 7.5 (v Catania)
TOTW Apps: 1

The versatile defender was viewed as one of the top  prospects in Italy a couple years back and now that he is back in Napoli's three-man defence he is showing exactly why that was the case. He dominated Catania's offence and even ran cross-field to cut out some dangerous passes. 


Centre-back - Andrea Ranocchia (Inter)

Player Rating: 7 (v Cagliari)
TOTW Apps: 4

Yes, Ranocchia bagged a controversial winner against Cagliari but that's not why he's featured in our Best XI. The defender, who shows experience beyond his years, was always in the right place at the right time in defence and is slowly but surely becoming more assured at his new club.


Centre-back - Thiago Silva (Milan)

Player Rating: 7 (v Chievo)
TOTW Apps: 7

The Brazilian is the defender who has featured most in our Team Of The Week this season, and he chalks up another fine display after limiting giant-killer Sergio Pellissier in Verona and reading the game in fine fashion. Truly excellent.


Left back - Juan Camilo Zuniga (Napoli)

Player Rating: 7 (v Catania)
TOTW Apps: 2

The South American wing-back is showing why he was so highly rated when with Siena. His play down the left against Catania was superb and in addition he stole in for the winner to keep the Partenopei just three points adrift of league leaders Milan.


Right-midfield - Gennaro Gattuso (Milan)

Player Rating: 8 (v Chievo)
TOTW Apps: 1

Still looked a tad nervous after the Joe Jordan fiasco on Tuesday, but his work against the Chievo midfield proved crucial at both ends. Made one brilliant challenge to prevent a potential equaliser and also burst forward on the counter-attack to set up a winner. Showed flashes of the pitball from World Cup 2006.


Centre-midfield - Hernanes (Lazio)

TOTW Apps: 6

'The prophet' continues to highlight the way to Europe for Lazio, having seemingly awoken from his slumber, as they remain in the top four places in search of Champions League football. A wonderful first-time finish for the winner over Bari and dynamic play in the centre of the pitch. Denied more goals only due to the good form of Gillet.


Left-midfield - Djamel Mesbah (Lecce)

Player Rating: 7.5 (v Juventus)
TOTW Apps: 1

The Algerian absolutely roasted 10-man Juventus and in particular young Sorensen. His performance lifted the Salentini to three vital points in the battle against relegation and he showed sublime control to open the scoring after beating the offside trap.


Right-forward - Alexandre Pato (Milan)

Player Rating: 7 (v Chievo)
TOTW Apps: 3

It certainly was not a vintage performance from the Brazilian wonderkid, but there is no doubt he decided a hard fought contest at the Bentegodi. Came off the bench in the second half and did a samba move through the Flying Donkeys' defence before firing in a magical winner.


Centre-forward - Alberto Paloschi (Genoa)

TOTW Apps: 1

With Floro Flores struggling and his side trailing by two goals, the ex-Parma man came off the bench and was crucial to changing the match in a historic turnaround against the Giallorossi with a brace. Is he the heir to Pippo Inzaghi?


Left-forward - Rodrigo Palacio (Genoa)

TOTW Apps: 1

When the Grifoni needed inspiration, the tricky Argentine emerged as their leader in the comeback triumph at the Marassi after a dismal first half. Two goals and an assist for Paloschi also signalled the end of Claudio Ranieri's reign at Roma.


There you have it. Disagree with our selection? Let us know who you would have snapped up in your esteemed line-up. As ever, we're open to your suggestions and musings.

For more Castrol Rankings insights visit the Castrol Zone on Goal.com


Did what so few defenders have managed to this season and dealt with Nani's two pronged approach of cutting inside or taking the ball down the channel with relative ease. The Cameroonian never really looked threatened at White Hart Lane, delivering a fine performance.
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